As many of you know we are moving out if the desert; with this move comes downsizing. I have no problem with that: it’s cathartic to get rid of things you don’t need anymore. However I didn’t realize how much I had expanded in two years in the big house we are in. We’ve been making lists and lists of things that need to get done, things to be sold, thrown out, donated. That was all fine and good while I was just sort of going around the house seeing what I didn’t need anymore. Then one day D says to me, “You know, why don’t we try to move into a three bedroom apartment while we are still here?” Now that would mean that I have to downsize and simplify my 4 bedroom, family room, three car garage house down to 1200 square feet with no extra storage. At first I thought, “Ok, no problem, I don’t have that much stuff, some books, some fabric, some kitchen utensils.” But then this week and mainly this weekend, I began to really downsize. That’s when I suddenly felt overwhelmed by how I had expanded my living to this big house.
We had already been feeling for a few months that the house was to big for us and for the girls right now. So downsizing and simplifying will be a welcome change albeit a laborious one for me to make. I started by moving all the books out of the family room into my crafting room. They of course could not all fit so I went through them all four or five times and ended up selling 90 dollars worth of books to the used book store. I still have half of those left to sell at my garage sale. The garage sale is going to be of epic proportions! It will certainly be one of those jackpot garage sales where you find things like William Sonoma cook books and dutch ovens, baby clothes and wooden toys.
We tackled the kitchen this weekend. I’m glad we did because this house has a lot of extra storage. It was really great, but I filled it all up with canning and drying foods. So I had to go through it all and what I found appalled me. I had stored up so much food and lost track of it. It has caused me to think about having a food storage list. One that can be updated constantly so nothing goes bad. I basically went shopping in my own pantry and found so much food I won’t need to buy any bulk goods for at least a month!
What this has lead me to is a serious re-thinking about simplification. This move will be a very good way to start a life that is filled with less things and more experiences. I’ve experienced a large house and now know that we don’t need it. This simplifying will give me the opportunity to get rid of excess and really think about what things I need in my house. Whenever I buy something new/used I can spend the time thinking about the place it will occupy in my home and the material it is made of. I am determined to make a serious effort into not bringing plastic into our house. That includes thinking about the containers of the store bought items that I buy.
Lastly, I am throwing away a bits and pieces of my ego. The life that I thought I wanted to lead. Remnants of a life that was never really going to come to fruition. Mainly all the stuff I had saved from college is gone, except my degree.
I’ve put down a family rule that anything brought into our house will be mindfully bought, not bought on impulse. With children it’s very easy to want to impulse buy even if it is some awesome wooden toy or education book. I will be thinking now about what space there is for it. Can it be used daily or displayed out in the open? Is it made of a natural material?
This change is scary and fulfilling. It feels so good to do something so drastic. So there are no pictures, I’ve been to busy to even think about the camera!
I would love to hear your experience with downsizing or de-cluttering. Is it scary or do you welcome it with open arms. Are you mindful about the items that come into your home?